A word of advice, never buy a new parent a photo album.
One of two things will happen if you do. One, it will get put in the back of a cupboard and forgotten about until the next car boot/raffle/clear out because, who has time for photo albums these days? Or two…the new parent with hours of newborn naps will keep a beautiful story of photos following those precious firsts and the less precious second, thirds, and fourths because, let’s face it, little babies don’t do a great deal so there is a lot of photo repetition.
But option 2 sounds ok, right? WRONG!!! That mother will then feel the need to fill that album even when the naptimes are reduced and the housework has increased. She will then reach the end of the album either with photos to spare or at a random age…say, 8 months. So they buy another album and add more photos. At this point they will silently start to curse you for making them start this photo album obsession in the first place.
And then a month passes.
And all of a sudden, you have 6 months worth of photos to sort through, put in chronological order, attach photo mounts to, and position in an album.
Today I have started to create story stones for the little bear. These are basically just little glass stones with pictures drawn on them which we can then use for recognition, colour identification, and creating stories once he is a little bit older.
I have seen these on various groups so thought, as a dutiful mother, I should give them a go. My artistic talents aren’t great but I’m quite pleased with my efforts so far…although I have only done five, one of which is a sun so yes, it’s a circle, I drew a circle and hhen coloured it in…hmmm, starting to be less impressed with myself.
I have another 25 to go, I have a few ideas but think I will start to struggle past 15. Especially if I want little bear to recognise what they are.
Day-dreaming mummy thought it would be a wonderfully theraputic task to complete during nap time…reality, I just don’t know how to stop all my animals looking like dogs!
When I was little I was an incredibly early riser much to my parents displeasure, through my teens I continued to rise early, and even a couple of years ago I never saw the true beauty of a lie in…and then little bear came along.
He is, on the whole, a very good sleeper. But never before have I harboured such longing for just an extra half an hour in bed.
When he was poorly he was waking up earlier, having snuggles with us, then going back to sleep for an hour or so and that was fine. And he was poorly, so we could forgive him.
On Sunday Morning, after the clocks going nack, he woke up at 6.10…so that would have been 7.10, which is an unheard of time for him to wake up! On Monday it was 5.45 – very early but almost acceptable, it’s what we are used to. Tuesday was a bit earlier, we tried putting him back in his bed but eventually just got up.
Today…ten past four! What is that?!?! He wouldn’t go back to sleep until nearly 5 o’clock. Is this my punishment for doing the same to my parents all those years ago??
When did it become such a big thing in England?! I know that over in America it’s a huge event with houses being decorated top to bottom in fantastical kitsch but it seems England is catching onto this trend.
When I was a little girl Halloween was a one day affair, maybe two if it fell on a weekday and was then celebrated at the weekend. I never went “trick or treating”, or at least I only went once and that was to my grandparents house when I was about 8. A few shops would have decorations, mainly just supermarkets though. But now, not that many years later, and you can’t escape it!
Today I took little bear to playgroup, same has every Tuesday, but this week it was Halloween themed. Not wanting him to look left out I put him in a cute spider outfit…he was 1 of 3 who had nade an effort. I then felt I had to justify why I had dressed him up even though doing such a thing had been encouraged…perhaps I’m just over enthusiastic.
It’s a lovely playgroup with a different theme and different activities every week – spaghetti worms and jelly eyeballs this week! And I have nothing against the theme, but as I walked there I couldn’t help but notice how every shop had decorations…is that necessary? And as for the invites to Halloween parties, Halloween messy play, Halloween discos…anyone would think it was Christmas!!
I think my main problem with it all is that it’s just expected that we are accepting of all this. Day-dreaming mummy thought she would have a good few years, ideally forever, before little bear asked to go “trick or treating”. Reality is that come Saturday he will be dressed up as a pumpkin, visiting his cousin, and going “trick or treating”…but only to see people we know, that is my conpromise and I’m sticking with it.
Hello Monday…there was no need for you to pop up again so quickly. We’ve had a lovely weekend, with just a few little strops (from me not little bear) and lots of family time.
On Sunday we borrowed the grandparents’ dog and set off for a lovely walk. The little bear and I were fully equipped with welly boots…daddy not so well equipped in designer trainers. We had a lovely autumnal walk through the woods, crunching leaves and finding twigs, jumping in puddles, watching squirrels; it was blissful, day-dreaming mummy would have been proud.
Until we reached a stream.
Daddy, the only one who had done the walk before, said we had to wade across and clamber up a bank. I told him not to be ridiculous and that there had to be another way, “No, I remember doing this”, he assured me. So the dog paddled through then scrambled his way up the muddy bank, then daddy jumped across, landed on his knees, covered in mud but in good spirits. Meanwhile, I am slipping and sliding all over the place trying to negotiate preventing a landslide and not dropping little bear. Daddy came to our rescue, we passed little bear across with military precision…then daddy lost his trainer in the mud. Little bear was crying, the dog was in a tangled mess, and my husband was hopping about covered in mud…and I am still in the middle of the stream feeling extremely thankful for wellies.
Somehow, we carried on in good spirits with me still in complete disbelief at the non-existence of a bri…oh wait, what,s that up ahead?? A bridge across the stream! Of course there is, and suddenly daddy remembers that. But who cares? We had fun, right?!
And then home for a scrummy Sunday roast…which the little bear refused, and which daddy ate whilst watching football. But was it perfect? Pretty much 🙂
This morning we made it out of the house…hooray!! Even little bear was getting cabin fever, he had taken to walking round the lounge in circles saying and signing “home” repeatedly whilst I was near enough sitting in the corner, rocking, and saying “home…still”.
Every Friday we make our way to our Sing and Sign class with friends, and it really is one of our weekly highlights. Little bear has learnt so much from the classes and I believe they have really helped him to express himself from an early age. The added bonus is that by going with friends I get to have a bit of adult chat as well!
Each week the class follows a similar pattern – a welcome song, a bag of toys, a toy cat, instruments, another bag, and a goodbye song. We’ve been going since he was 4 months old so he knows the routine and anticipates what will happen next. His current favourite is walking around the room just as he has been asked to “stop” doing that very thing. With toddlers running wild and adults walking and stopping on command, it’s a fairly ridiculous sight!
Let’s be honest, a lot of what we do for our children makes us look fairly ridiculous. Another song today had us all pretending to be lions, dogs, and chickens whilst the children mainly just looked on as if we were mad – they have a point.
I always knew that Sing and Sign would be something I would do having seen the benefits of it in children I have worked with. Day-dreaming mummy had visions of an angelic child sweetly signing all his wants and needs while I dutifully attended to him. In reality, he knows quite a few signs but is more likely to just use the words. He has a fantastic vocabulary and I believe Sing and Sign has really helped with that, it made me use words and signs when we were out and about which clearly engaged him, and instead of copying signs, he’s opted for words…well done little bear!
So it seems that day-dreaming mummy and reality concur on at least one point…leaving the little bear when he’s so poorly really does suck.
I’m on my way to work to look after another toddler when all I want to do is look after my own. After a relatively good morning with no need for calpol I was optimistic that our luck was changing and the health fairy had paid us a visit (too much Ben and Holly, sorry). After a trip to the garden centre to see rabbits that had moved on we got home and the temperature returned.
I have had to leave him half asleep/half sobbing with my mum. Now, I don’t doubt that he will be fine with her…but she isn’t me, they don’t know each other the same way. As I walked out my front door a tear threatened to spill and now I find myself feeling horribly guilty that I have left him.